Archive

Author Archive

The Top 100 Nintendo Games

You’ll have to excuse us if things get a little quiet around here; I still have a lot I need to do to prepare for this year’s E3 (not to mention a few articles I still need to write before the event), so I won’t have much free time to contribute to Player-2. I’m sure my colleagues will do a fantastic job of picking up my slack while I’m gone (especially considering how well they’ve kept the blog running these past few weeks), but given how few contributors P-2 has, it’s inevitable that one person’s absence will have an impact on its output.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you all some of the most recent happenings at Nintendojo. As you may not know, last week the website celebrated its 100th issue since its relaunch two years ago, and to commemorate the event we put together a list of the top 100 Nintendo games of all time. Of course, it would be impossible to objectively rank games that span over seven console generations, so rather than try to organize them by overall quality, we divided the list up into five smaller sub-lists that each covered a specific time period. I was in charge of organizing the top 20 games of 1996-2000 (with a little help from Nintendojo’s co-editor-in-chief, Andrew Hsieh), but I also made a small contribution to the top 20 games of 2006-2011. I have to say, looking back on all of the great games to have graced Nintendo platforms, I’m glad I was fortunate enough to experience many of them at the height of their importance. I hope you enjoy our little trip down memory lane as well, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks!

Chronicling Xenoblade: An Ongoing Review, Part 1

It’s no secret that Xenoblade Chronicles may very well be the last big Wii game (both in terms of scope and importance) to hit the console before it is inevitably pushed aside for the next generation, so I thought it’d be a fitting tribute of sorts to record my thoughts on the game as I delved ever deeper into it. Like 1UP’s coverage of Star Wars: The Old Republic, this feature will be written in lieu of a traditional review (as Xenoblade is simply too large to properly critique in a single article) and will detail my journey through the game’s storyline. I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum so as to not ruin the experience for anyone who wishes to play it for themselves, but given the very nature of this exercise, it’s inevitable that a few will slip through the editing process. That being said, I hope you’ll stick with me over the course of the next month or so as I make my way through Nintendo’s sprawling techno-fantasy, which is shaping up to be one of the finest RPGs the company has ever published.

Read more…

Not So New Anymore

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when Nintendo announced New Super Mario Bros. 2 during its Nintendo Direct presentation last week. I knew another New Super Mario game was inevitable (given the remarkable success of the previous titles), but like many others, I had assumed the upcoming Wii U iteration (which was confirmed to be based on last year’s New Super Mario Bros. Mii demo) would fill that role. I did not expect the company would be developing a second one simultaneously (let alone releasing both of them in the same year), which is why the news came more as a shock to me than as a pleasant surprise.

That being said, my disappointment is born out of much deeper concerns than the one I mentioned above, which is why I’d like to take this opportunity to explain some of the reasons I’m not particularly excited about New Super Mario Bros. 2. You’ll find that none of them has anything to do with the actual quality of the game (as I have no doubt it will ultimately be fun), but rather with its implications for the series (and the state of Nintendo as a whole).

Read more…

A Trip Down TCG Lane

Like every child who grew up during the height of Pokémon’s popularity, I was very big into the Pokémon Trading Card Game. I was never particularly interested in playing the card game, though; my obsession was in collecting them. Every few weeks my sister and I would pool our allowances together and beg our dad to take us to the local comic book shop, spending what little money we had on the latest packs and figurines from Japan.

Of course, we eventually outgrew this phase of our lives, but for nostalgia’s sake (and to give my sister an excuse to procrastinate on her term paper), she and I went to another comic book shop (the one we had frequented so often in our childhood had, sadly, closed its doors many years ago) this weekend and purchased a few new packs of cards. It had been well over a decade since we’d last done anything of the sort, but standing there amongst the comic books and other assorted nerdery, it was hard not to think back to those carefree days of when the franchise was still new and exciting. This was a way for us to relive our youth, if only for a brief moment.

Read more…

Back in Black (and White)

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Pokémon, so you can imagine how excited I was when Game Freak announced a pair of direct sequels to Pokémon Black and White instead of the typical “third” version we were all expecting. Not only did this buck the release pattern the series had been following since its debut, but it hinted at bigger changes still in store for the aging franchise.

With so many potential directions the games could take (and so little information on them), I went ahead and compiled a round table of predictions for Black 2 and White 2. Of course, all of that hard work was invalidated the moment CoroCoro hit newsstands and revealed the first concrete details about the pair, but I hope you’ll give our predictions a look (preferably before reading the CoroCoro information) nonetheless! If anything, it’ll be amusing to see just how wrong we (well, mostly me) all were.

Still Alive

You’ll have to excuse our brief hiatus. Life has a funny way of interfering with our most carefully laid plans, which is something each of us here can attest to: Andy’s recently enrolled himself in a community college (and rediscovered the joys of daily homework assignments); Jordan’s been busy at work; I’m recovering from a particularly nasty case of writer’s block (which completely affected my ability to produce any work, much to the chagrin of my ‘dojo compatriots); and Brian’s…well, Brian.

But we’re back now, and we have quite a few interesting things in store for you guys: I’ll be writing some impressions of the PSN sensation, Journey; Brian will be keeping a journal of his thoughts on Xenoblade Chronicles (as will I once my copy of the game arrives in the mail); I’ll be compiling a round table of predictions for Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 (with a special contribution from Serebii of Serebii.net); and Andy and I will collaborate on a review of Trine 2. Expect to see these articles (and more!) in the coming months.

And if that wasn’t enough, I’ll also be heading to E3 this June with a colleague of mine from Nintendojo. While the majority of my coverage will be for them (which I’ll inevitably pimp on here), I’ll do my best to sneak in some other impressions exclusively for Player-2. If there’s a particular game any of you are interested in, let me know and I’ll keep an eye out for it on the show floor!

To Whom It May Concern

February 15, 2012 Leave a comment

I purchased Dear Esther on a whim today (having read Eurogamer’s thoughts on it earlier this morning), and I must say I’m really impressed with it. I’m not normally one to fawn over indie titles (in truth I think they frequently sacrifice substance for style), but this particular game (if it can indeed be call that, so thoroughly does it test the limits of the medium) deserves special recognition for its startling originality and its unflinching vision.

Read more…